Granny Grabtree

1990 small town Walmart, the Christmas decorations had been out for a few weeks. (So, probably September.) I picked up one of the little artificial trees and looked it over.

It was about 18 inches tall with an X-shaped foot. The center trunk was a twist of two heavy gauge wires and its branches were smaller wire twists containing dark green and light brown plastic “needles”. The entire shelf’s worth of wee trees were compacted, the branches crushed up against their trunks. They had been shelved straight from the shipping container.

I looked over the tree in my hand and began loosening the branches. Starting at the bottom, I arranged them with some care until the tree looked sprightly and almost genuine. I set the little guy back on the shelf and admired my work. I wondered why no store clerk had done this for a display.

But I didn’t need a little tree, so I turned to leave. At the end of the aisle, an older woman stared at me, agape.

Her open mouth lived among soft, white, crepey skin, below a pointed nose and oversized tortoiseshell glasses. Her hair was white, unkempt curls with a flat spot in the back. She wore an acrylic sweater and jean slacks, similar to the pants I am wearing today. She leaned forward slightly. Her eyes darted back and forth from me to the little tree.

“Weird”, I thought, and moved on with my shopping.

I moved towards the row of cashier stands about half an hour later. The woman who had stared at me was sitting on a bench to the side of the exit doors. She had an extremely smug smile on her upturned face, upper teeth exposed and eyes half-lidded.

In one hand, she held the little tree I had arranged, and she flopped it from side to side over her knees. When she saw me, she froze solid, mouth open again in alarm.

I stared at her for a second or two, mystified. The tree was partly crushed again from her repeated flopping. She had nothing else with her.

She watched me, still frozen in place except her eyes and a slight movement of her head, as I moved thru the line and made my purchases. I glanced back once more as I walked out the door to see her still staring at me and her body beginning to thaw.

Small town life offers little entertainment. I guess she hoped to create her own little drama. I hope I failed her.




Airhead; Not Always A Bad Thing

Forgot a co-worker’s farewell luncheon today, even tho it was saved on both my work and home calendar. Had to meet husband at Lowe’s to buy paint & switch plates & new door so he could get work done on little rental house.

(Guy at the paint counter offered me an extra large stirrer in case husband misbehaved. LOL!)

Complained to work spouse about being an airhead, missing both items on my calendar. In the process, I accidentally pointed out that she’d gotten the time wrong on this afternoon’s meeting and had erroneously declined it.

Realized I was being a bit too hard on myself. Everyone makes mistakes. Good thing I complained, or she’d have missed an important meeting.

Dropped by retiring co-worker’s desk and wished her well. She says she hopes to lose 20lb over the next year, not being stuck behind a desk anymore.

My Predictions for the Last Season of GoT:

Dragonglass trends like mad, everyone just has to own a dagger or two.

Highgarden faces its first flu epidemic. Cersei sends out troops; flu decimates their ranks, she dies on Arya’s poisoned blade and good riddance.

Sansa sends out letters of petition for a decent husband, Brienne matches her with Podrick.

Dragon eats Euron, Yara takes to the sea, leaves Theon in charge. Hijinks ensue.

Jorah meets his little cousin Lyanna, who sets him to work rebuilding her troops. He defects to the Night’s Watch because sad Jorah, no Dany.

Jamie catches up with Brienne and they are BFF again, Jamie is best man at Brienne and Tormud’s wedding. Jamie and Tyrion reunite. Dany matches Jamie and Lyanna Mormont, there is much eye-rolling.

Free folk settle at Riverrun and Casterly Rock, re-name them Fishy and Rocky. Targaryens settle in at Dragonstone and breed like bunnies.

Arya marries beneath her and takes the Eyrie; her direwolves win all the dog shows. Dothraki take King’s Landing, settle down and get fat. Sometimes seen staring wistfully across the sea until their children hug them.

White walkers lose their sense of direction and become ordinary backyard pests. Everyone has dragonglass, so no biggie! Ice dragon is chained up in Arya’s backyard.

Final scene: Tyrion sitting on Iron Throne, holding up and frowning at a dragon egg just as it begins to crack, breaks the fourth wall to sigh at the audience.


I read two posts from Wyomingians complaining about science deniers. One pointed out that they are seeing 100 degree summer days, extremely unusual. The second person replied about their getting rain in Winter, which they agreed was crazy. They are desperate; the place they live in and count on has gone unpredictable with changing climate.

Lots of people posted replies, having recently been mislead into the fiction that global warming will cause an instant ice age to occur. This is what happens when people get their science dis-information from Michael Bay films. I suppose the story has been recirculated by some conspiracy talk show host. Seriously, people assume that the giant iceberg that calved off Antarctica is going to cause an ice age to occur.

Because of all the heat.

Have you been sarcastic and had people take you seriously, even after you say it was a joke? Maybe you even explain, point out that you meant the opposite of what you said, but they do not comprehend and keep on with their misunderstanding. This is similar. Explain to these people that our farmlands are going to turn into desert and they think you are telling them that desert is where food comes from.

I do not know how to express to jokers that serious issues are actually real. I spent ten years attempting to communicate genuinely with my ex husband, which he found endlessly amusing. I had no life worth living, being nothing better than a joke to him. I left.

We cannot solve climate change by leaving jokers. We cannot walkout the door and be free of them. They live here on Earth with us. Maybe that is what needs to change. Let's send them all to Venus. They do not care that we are heating up our planet, so let's send them off to where greenhouse effect is strong enough to melt metal.

That was sarcasm. We cannot ship science deniers to Venus. Just in case you thought I really meant that.

Tree Planting Record

Dear Senator Corker,

Recently, people of India landed a record number of trees in 24 hours. Not long after that, they broke their own record! 

Trees are amazing when it comes to environment. Tree shade cools the ground by soaking up the sunlight. I am old enough to remember when tree shade was the only “air conditioning” we had! Trees also slow down and soak up rain, which prevents floods from happening. 

The most important thing trees do is create good soil. Without trees, there would be no farmland. Places where all the trees are cleared for farmland have turned into desert. That is what happened to the Fertile Cresent. 

India planted these trees to roll back climate change. But trees are worth so much, they are good for so many more reasons. Life thrives in trees, under trees, because of trees. That includes our human lives. 

Earlier this year, I got 10 free trees from the Tennessee Conservation program. Nine of them have survived so far. My property lost far more trees that this in last year’s drought.

Would it be possible for Tennessee to give India a “run for its money” and challenge them on a tree planting record? It would do us a world of good. 

Thank you,


We have automobiles, cars that
Zoom us
Anywhere we need to go

We have days
Unencumbered by searches for foodstuff or
Washing clothes by hand
Hours to spend as we please


She is three-quarters of an hour’s
Drive away from me
Not far, but
Too late for panic
Out of arm’s reach

I am not welcome
At my ex’s house
I am not barred

Bright soul
Darling girl
In spirit
We share breath

In body, the distance?
I measure it
In heartaches

Not Helpful

Creative people are risk takers. We try new ways, take new routes, put energy into untried means. We need support and more to be able to accomplish things. 

Because life is hard, there are creator-haters who exist for no other reason than to end creativity. They find creative people, behave in a friendly manner, and then suck the joy right out of a creative person’s soul. 

Haters lean in, smile when you light up with your ideas, gaze wistfully at the horizon, and slowly crush out your light. I am certain these people inspired JK Rowling to invent Dementors. 

“That would be nice” is one of their weapons. Like a crowbar, it forces joy open so that more creativity can bleed out. The creative pours more light thru that opening, and the hater sucks it up. “Oh, how do you think of such good ideas?” Is a rope they tie around a creative’s neck. It sounds so much like a compliment. 

They tighten the rope with laughter. Only after you are dangling do they feel safe enough to finish the job. “I just don’t think that would work.” Or “We tried that once.” And if they want to kick the creative’s dead form to be certain it is dead, “I guess you could do that, but I wouldn’t.” 

Here is the secret: haters are stifled creatives. That is how they get so close; they feel familiar. 

Save yourself, creative person. You are quick and inventive, with a sharp eye. When you brim with joyful ideas, pay close attention to those around you. If they do not also shine bright, if they do not respond with joy and awe, then take up your soul and carry it away. 

Do not return their hate. Haters are in pain already. Just pick up your joys and go home.